When you initially start planning a trip, there are a lot of things to consider. One of these is transportation. You have to decide which transport will get you to your goal or which one would allow you to explore a new city and its environments.
When it comes to commuting, renting a car is a popular option due to its versatility, convenience, and safety.
But, aside from these specifics, there are a few more factors to consider before renting a car.
In this article, we shall be discussing all you need to check for before hopping into a rented car. These are the factors that will help you decide whether or not to rent a car for your next vacation.
Buckle up, because it’s going to be a crazy ride.
Few Things to Check Before Renting a Car
- Your Age- Are you 21 and thinking of car rentals? It might be disheartening for you, but, most companies will not rent to drivers under the age of 25. You might need prior approval from the mother ship or verifying your driving record history.
- Your IDs- Keep your drivers license and the credit card you used to make the reservation. Rental companies might make it difficult for you if you do not have the proper card and IDs.
- Your Automobile Insurance Policy- Talk to your insurance agent to verify what coverage you have when renting a car, and determine when that coverage is effective.
- Your Road Service Provider– Check with your road service provider to see if they cover service calls on rental cars. Mostly they do, but no harm in confirming.
- Your Credit Card Documentation- You would not like to waste your trip money on paying for expensive insurances. Would you? So check for credit cards that provide any insurance on rental cars when charged to their card. Check limits and exclusions.
- Your Carry-On Bag- Along with all the essentials, add a small flashlight in your bag, which might help you at night in case of mis-happenings.
At the Car Rental Counter, here is what to do(or ask)
- Ask about the Maintenance- Have thorough know-how about the maintenance check of the car you are renting.
- Ask hows and whats- Its always safe to ask questions beforehand than to create confusion later. Some of the questions you should not miss asking the agent are-“What to do if the car breaks down?”
“What will happen if I lose the car key?”
“ What are the contact numbers in case of any unforeseen event?”
- Read about the fines - It is essential to know all the potholes(in the form of harsh fees and fines) that you can get away. Look for all the out of state driving fees, mileage limits, fuel return policy and many more miscellaneous charges that you can avoid.
When you meet your companion(car), make sure you
- Give a wholesome glance- Have a full exterior check of the car before driving it. Look for any damages, visible scratches or dents. Examine side mirrors, and make sure the license plates are current. Next, have a proper assessment of the tires. Look for any inflation, tread wear or any bulge. Not to forget, open and check all the doors of the car and make sure you are convinced about the exteriors before stepping in.
- Familiarize yourself- Get yourself comfortable inside the car and adjust the seats and mirrors. Look for any stains or cracks in the seats. Make sure radio, odometer, locking system and window controls are functioning. Also, find the fuel latch, if there is one to avoid any embarrassment later.
- Check out the interiors- (These are life-saving pointers, so make sure not to skip them) Switch on-off headlights, indicator lights, and interior lights to check they are working properly. Find the windshield wipers so that you don’t hit the pole when it starts raining. Next important thing is brakes. See for yourself, how hard you have to press on the pedal to gauge your stopping distance.
- Look for the spares- Check for Owners Manual, toolbox and a spare tire. Make sure to check the toolbox for jack and lug wrench. Open the hood and check the fluids( at least the oil, antifreeze, and washer fluid). In case you are more skeptical, you might examine brake fluid, transmission fluid, and power steering fluid.
- Start it off– Start the car and drive it inside the premises of the company. Let it warm up and check for speed performance, any strange noises, handling problem, a braking problem etc. These small things make a big difference while you drive a car that’s not yours.
- Directions are important- Losing directions especially when you are an alien land can be sickening, so do not forget to consult a map, whether paper or via your phone or a GPS.(you can thank us later for this tip.)
We hope you enjoyed this journey.
You are now ready to move into the real world, and experience the joy of driving and exploring the roads less taken. Don’t forget to accompany this checklist with your travel bag and have a safe drive.
Already rented a car?
Here is a quick checklist to follow when you return your car rental.
If you ever consider travelling to Florida and are looking for car rental options, you might want to tick your checklist with our car rentals.